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The Charleston County School Board recently approved its 2018-2020 strategic goals. Presented by Dr. Gerrita Postlewait, these goals are designed “to ensure that the district’s programs and instructional models prepare students for 21st century jobs and opportunities.”
This laser-focus on career readiness is vital to our region’s economic competitiveness.
As our region’s economy continues to evolve, employers are finding it increasingly difficult to find talent, particularly in rapidly growing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) sectors.
The Charleston Metro Chamber works closely with our region’s school districts, colleges and universities and employers to help understand the types of skills employers are seeking and help local educators understand and respond to employers’ needs.
The Chamber produced the Charleston region’s first Talent Demand Study in 2014 with funding support and participation from Charleston Regional Development Alliance, Charleston Southern University, College of Charleston, Medical University of South Carolina and Trident Technical College.
A recently released 2018 analysis provides a fresh update in identifying the fastest-growing and most in-demand occupations as well as assess talent supply gaps. Key findings include:
- In the next five years, the Charleston region will add nearly 35,000 new jobs
- 80% of this job growth will be in 10 specific occupations, including Production & Mechanical, Hospitality, Medical, Business Operations Support, Software & IT and Personal Services
Substantial work is currently underway to address our region’s talent demand gaps. For instance,
- Career Academy and Youth Apprenticeship programs help ensure local students are trained in high-demand skills
- Area colleges and universities added more than 30 new STEM degrees in 2016 and 2017
- Our current workforce is being trained through programs like ManuFirst SC and Trident Technical College’s South Carolina Aeronautical Training Center (Opening 2019)
The Talent Demand Study is important to our region because it gives us a long-range view of our talent needs moving forward. Once we see the issues, we can begin, and continue, to ready our local workforce to meet those challenges.
CMCC SVP of Talent Advancement